The Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health Urban Health Collaborative (UHC) recently published a new community health profile on the Kensington area of Philadelphia. The UHC’s community health profiles bring together publicly available data from a number of sources to describe the health indicators and neighborhood factors that can impact health in a community. Information on neighborhood health status can help community leaders, neighborhood organizations, health care providers, and other stakeholders describe the likely drivers of health in a community, advocate for, and effectively utilize resources to plan new services. These snapshots also help when assessing changes over time.
Kensington is a neighborhood with challenges, but also many assets and opportunities. The research shows Kensington has a younger population than Philadelphia overall, but many residents live in poverty, and have a lower life expectancy than the citywide average. Kensington residents are less likely to have health insurance, more likely to have food insecurity, and more likely to rate their health as fair or poor. While some areas have higher crime rates, others have rates lower than other parts of Philadelphia. In fact, Kensington residents report feeling as safe during the day as other Philadelphians, which suggests there are other assets within Kensington, such as close personal connections between neighbors.
Continuing to support and engage community residents as partners and experts could improve the impact of investments in this neighborhood. There is currently focused attention on Kensington. The intent is to conduct a profile in the future to assess how indicators of community health may change over time.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on November 22